Monday, December 28, 2015

The One Where Everyone's Name Is Lam

So glad she's available to email us in Hong Kong! Never taking this for granted! hopefully it's like this the whole time! We got to see her cute face Christmas Eve in the States, Christmas Day here time! We skyped the whole family! Hong Kong, Japan, Washington, and Utah. Gotta love the holidays! here is the this week's email. hope you enjoy :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

The One Where Mindy Made It To HONG KONG! :)

Hello everyone!! Looks like she is finally in Hong Kong! They had a rough time getting over there because of a snow storm in Utah. But thankfully she was able to call her family those days and talk to us. It was SOO good to hear her voice! They had a lot of interesting miracles happen on their way to Hong Kong and it just reaffirmed to all the missionaries and their families that God is THERE and He is watching out for us! He will bless us when we are in need. Hope you enjoy this week's email :)

First Week in Hong Kong!

Wow, what a blur! I'm almost certain that in the MTC I learned more than ten words in Cantonese but so far, my Cantonese is limited to "Nice to meet you" and bearing my testimony (which I guess is all that really matters). My trainers name is Sister Takahashi. She's half Japanese and from Australia. She's been in Hong Kong for a little over a year and her cantonese is amazing. I'm VERY blessed to have her. She's been a really big help for my tones already and I've only been with her for less than a week. We have a lot of laughs together and we've already had some really amazing things happen. 

All I remember about the first day was that I fell asleep during my first lesson, my cantonese was AWFUL (because my brain was so fried that I couldn't translate what I wanted to say in my brain into cantonese.), and the clothing that I had on did not match in the slightest (my companion told me that she was concerned that was actually how my style was and that she was have to help me with that too). I honestly couldn't have told you what we taught that day or how i made it to the apartment that night. I also almost got hit by a bus within like three minutes of leaving the chapel with my trainer (crazy asian drivers ;) ). 

The rest of the week went by SO much better and I've been having so much fun. I already love these people and I'm super excited to learn about them and understand them better. The area I'm in is called Sham Shui Po. It's the area that includes the temple and the Kowloon Tong chapel (the one across the street from the chapel). I'll send some pictures of the temple and Hong Kong next week. (We're in the apple store emailing today and I actually haven't taken any pictures yet. Oops. Sorry Mom.) The ward is very welcoming, kind and supportive. I bore my testimony on Sunday and didn't throw up all over so that's a different plus. 

Sunday was honestly one of the hardest days I've had so far. The second I stepped foot in the chapel, it felt like the MTC all over again with someone chattering at you in Cantonese and you struggling to figure out what in the world they want from you. I'm pretty sure that I only understood like twenty words that were said in the whole five hours I was at the church (We had meetings before and a baptism after). But, the members were really patient and helpful to me. Every once in a while someone would lean over and whisper to me in English about what the joke was about or what the topic of the lesson is (which was very helpful because then I could at least try to pick out key words in that topic). I actually still have no idea what the topic for Sunday school is... 

My area has a LOT of less-actives. My trainer and I spend a lot of time visiting them and trying to serve them the best that we can. It makes my heart hurt thinking about the wonderful gift that they are throwing away when they reject the teachings that are true and right. It's hard for me, knowing the happiness that comes from living faithfully and the joy I feel every time I think about the life I'll get to have with my family and heavenly Father in the celestial kingdom. I can't help but think of the Richard G. Scott tribute that I think came with the November Ensign (?). Elder Scott lost a son, and instead of blaming God for taking his precious baby from him, he turned it around and said "Now, I have EVEN MORE of a reason to live faithfully because I have a son who is in the celestial kingdom and I need to get there to him." I just love that. I hope that in some small way I'm able to help these members come even just a little bit closer to Christ so that they can make the choice to follow Him again. 

My trainer and I try to talk to everybody we can while we are on our way to visit less-actives. We've had some really cool miracles happen where the Lord has definitely put people in our path. Yesterday we were on our way to visit a less-active that hadn't been heard from or contacted in months (we randomly picked a name off the this huge list), on our way we ran into this young mom and her son. As we started talking to them, we found out that they were looking for a church because the church they were going to was too far away from their new apartment. So, we (or course!) introduced ourselves and told her about the Christmas activity we are having at our church this week. We're praying she shows up! When we got to the less-actives' apartment it turned out that she had moved sometime before February and there was a different dude living there. He was really confused to see us standing outside of his door. We left him with a pass-along card, apologized and wished him a Merry Christmas. I don't know what will happen with that but a seed has been planted. 

Anyway, I really need to get off and get going on some others things but I hope that you are all doing well. I just want to encourage you all to remember what this Christmas season is about and to read 2 Nephi 22:2. "...I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song...". Never forget in whom your trust is ALWAYS safe and who will lead you to being the happiest you can be. There's nothing more satisfying than doing your best to become like Christ. 

I love you all, MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Sister Adams

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The One Where It's Mindy's LAST EMAIL FROM THE MTC!!!!!!

I think she had a little more time to email us this week. This week's email is a little longer than usual and it's her last one from Utah! Next one she'll be in Hong Kong, China!!! :) no pictures again this week....she's bad at sending us those! hope you enjoy this week's email from the Lovely Sister Mindy Mint!

"Adam and Eve fell so that we can go to church!" MTC Week 8


The weeks are FLYING here in the MTC. But I'm loving every minute of it. Okay, because I always forget to talk about this, I'm gonna give a brief rundown of what a normal day is like for me in the MTC. After I wake up, I have breakfast and then gym so, my companion and I usually just get bag breakfast then do different things until gym starts at 7:35. After gym, we head to the classroom and we have personal study, companionship study and language study for three hours. Lunch is next and after lunch is more study time and a 3 hour block of classroom instruction with a teacher (all in Cantonese). We then dinner and another class instruction block with a different teacher. After that block of classes, we have another study hour and then we have daily planning before we head back to the residence at 9:30. We do have variations in schedule during the week with P-day, devotionals and service but overall, this is what the MTC is like! Another thing about the MTC is the food. It really doesn't do you any favors for about three weeks until your stomach gets used to it, after that, you're usually in the all clear (at least I was!) but they do have a lot of options you can choose from. 

The days can seem monotonous and long, but that all depends on your attitude (and your district...). It really does fly by fast, I look back on all the things I've learned and how much I've grown as a person and I can't believe that I've only been here two months. On the flip side, I only have 16 more months to share the gospel so I'm anxious to get out there! So, for those of you wondering what the MTC is like, my only advice is that it is what you make it. If you love it and you really focus on learning and improving, you will LOVE the MTC. But if you focus on the sitting, the long hours and the questionable food, you're experience here is going to seem like a lifetime.

Anyway, this week was a challenging, rewarding and sad week. We had a couple districts leave us this week so our zone shrunk to about half of what it used to be (this was the sad things because I really love my zone here), but we also gained some new Thai missionaries on Wednesday. Sister McNeely and I are still laughing about all the mistakes we make during the lessons. On Thursday, we had a particularly rough lesson where we literally could not say anything correctly. Sister Mcneely accidentally bore her testimony about how Adam and Eve fell so that we could go to church (Which is true, in a VERY roundabout way). And I told the investigator that we would have to SOS him later this week. We've gotten a lot of wide eyes and confused looks this week, which I imagine is what I'm going to be getting in Hong Kong so I should probably get used to it. I was also really sick this week too, so that made for a rough week. My teacher calls the MTC a petri dish and he is definitely right, it was long (like two hours) after I started feeling sick that more people in my zone started to feel sick, we're all still trying to recover and some are still getting sick everyday. We're all praying and hoping that we all get better before our flights next Monday or else it's going to be a rough trip to Asia. WASH YOUR HANDS AND GET YOUR SHOTS! FLU SEASON IS HERE! 

Everything will be winding this week with our investigators, teaching and lessons. I'm terrified by the fact that they are letting me loose in the streets of Hong Kong with how little I know but I'm so excited to get out there as well! I am constantly humbled by the faith and the trust that Heavenly Father puts in His missionaries. Trust and faith really is a two-way street. The more we trust Heavenly Father, the more He knows He can trust us and we are given bigger projects and bigger blessings. I studied obedience this week and I am in awe of the faith and obedience the Book of Mormon heroes like Nephi, Ammon, Alma and Moroni (and so many others) show. I truly believe that they were so incredibly obedient because of their love and trust in God. Never did they doubt that He would help them in any situation they were put into. Never did they question a prompting from the Spirit. Never did they doubt that they could overcome their hardships and trials. They knew their Heavenly Father loved them, and they loved and trusted Him right back. Heavenly Father blesses those that are obedient to Him. We are still reaping the rewards of the Book of Mormon heroes obedience. Every time we read the Book of Mormon, every time we talk about how grateful we are for this gospel and every time we think about the fact that we get to be with our families for eternity; we are receiving blessing for their legacy of faith and obedience. 

"If you love me, keep my commandments..." Obedience is the best show of love we can give our Heavenly Father. It shows that we trust Him and that we know He knows what's best for us. I get to see the blessings of obedience every time I teach a lesson and Cantonese falls out of my mouth. I get to see the blessings from my obedience when I hear about miracles that are happening in my family and when I see the changes in myself the have come from striving to do my best. I still fall short. Every single day, but Heavenly Father knows your heart and He knows your mind and He knows when you've been faithful. 

I hope you all have an incredible week and that you are able to see where the Lord has blessed your lives, because I know that He has blessed you lots. I love you all and I'm excited for next week when I get to email from HONG KONG!!

Love, Sister Adams

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The One Where Mindy Spends Thanksgiving In The MTC!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAAYYYYYYY!!! MISSIONARY MONDAY! she's so good at writing :) bless her! Sounds like she had an AMAZING week! enjoy!

"Where there's a whale, there's a way" MTC Week ?

Exactly two week left in the MTC!!! YAY! Which means today is week 7 (?) but Wednesday is technically the start of week 8 for me, it's a bit confusing... I also get my flight plans on Friday this week. Hong Kong is rapidly becoming a reality!

Thanksgiving in the MTC was seriously magical. I loved every second of it. We had three different devotionals that we went to that day. At the first devotional, we got to hear from Elder Oaks and hear his cute family play some musical numbers. Elder Oaks quoted the Apostle Paul when he said; "We need to give thanks is all things." We need to be grateful for this gospel for helping us become who we need to be and for giving us hope and second chances. We need to be grateful for commandments because commandments protect us and will help us stay on the path to our Heavenly Fathers presence. We need to be grateful for our trials and adversities because those trials help us gain the experience we were sent here to gain, they help make us strong, the help us become for like our Savior and our Heavenly Father. Give thanks in all things and live in thanksgiving daily for the THOUSANDS of blessings that God gives us daily. We are so incredibly blessed by our loving Heavenly Father. 

The other devotional we had was a bout what our service project would be that day. I've heard that it was on the news but I'm not actually sure. You may be able to Google, "Feeding Children Everywhere" service project, or MTC thanksgiving service project. It was really fun! We bagged up lentil casserole meals that should be able to feed six people with each bag. I had a blast doing it and I'm honestly so grateful that I got to spend a Thanksgiving in the MTC serving others like that. Apparently, the founders of the organization are not LDS, but they LOVE coming to the MTC on Thanksgiving because not only is it one of the biggest service opportunities the organization has in a year but the missionaries work so quickly, get so much done and they do it smiles on their faces. "Our gifts and talents are not for us, they were given to us to bless the lives of those around us". I know that to be true. Why would we be given strong bodies, big hearts and amazing talents if not to share our talents, lift others burdens and love others deeply. God answers our prayers through people, so my challenge this week is to think of someone that may be in need of your service, or your talents. Do this prayerfully and act on the thoughts that pop into your mind. You will be amazed where God can lead you, or who might have needed your help. 

The third devotional was a "grateful tribute" where we sang songs, watch videos and heard quotes and the numerous things God has blessed us with including: music, our bodies, our talents, this gorgeous earth, this gospel, prophets, our families and our Savior, Jesus Christ. The very last song was, "I Believe in Christ", every single missionary in the room stood when we sang that song and the Spirit that filled the room was incredible. My favorite line in that song is in the fourth (?) verse, it says: "I Believe in Christ, so come what may..." Through Christ, our Savior, brother and Redeemer, we can do ALL things. We can face ANY trial. We can achieve ANY goal. We can love ANY person. We can escape ANY addiction or trap that Satan has ensnared us in. Through Christ, we are made whole, we are made clean, we are lifted up and filled with joy. Another song that has hit home for for this week is, "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" (especially the version from 17 miracles, LOOK IT UP! It's so worth it.) "Savior, Redeemer of my soul. Whose mighty hands have made me whole. Whose wondrous power, has raised me up..." It's been stuck in my head for over a week and I don't even mind in the slightest. 

Anyway, I'm counting down the days until I get to be in Hong Kong. I'm so excited to share with them the joy of who our Heavenly Father and who are Savior is (and right in time for Christmas!) I'm also so grateful for this opportunity that I have to be on a mission. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father has let me be a part of His work and His purpose. I'm grateful for who He is turning me into, and that He gives me so many second chances when I fall short of what I should be doing. I'm grateful that He has blessed me with so many giving, loving and supportive people in my life. 

I hope you all have an amazing week! And I will be sharing a picture of the "tree of life" that we have here at the MTC because it is officially Christmas month for Sister Adams here at the MTC.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The One Where Mindy Is Still Trying To Get The Hang Of The Language

WE LOVE MISSIONARY MONDAY!!! Here is her email for this week. Hope you enjoy :)

"God guides His church through racism..." MTC Week 6  

Leih Hou! 

I don't actually remember what week I'm on here in the MTC, I'll be honest when I say that I lost track after week four. Every time someone asks I have to ask my companion or I just say, "A really long time...". 

This week was a week of learning for me. Learning from mistakes especially! On Wednesday, Sister McNeely and I were teaching a lesson to some other Sisters in our district (Sister Leonard and Sister Shiffert). We were teaching the restoration. I was trying to talk about how God guides His church still today through revelation to His living prophets. The cantonese word for revelation and the cantonese word for racism are pretty darn similar and I accidentally mixed them up. I'm pretty sure my teacher almost fell over he was laughing so hard. I only blushed a little bit... LOL! It's good to make mistakes though, there's a general authority that says, "You only have about 25,000 mistakes to make in a language, make them in the MTC". I'm pretty sure I've already said more than that but I'm glad to know that the mistakes and the mess coming out of my mouth won't last forever. I've had a couple Sisters speaking cantonese bear testimony that they were living prophets and another group said that God loves us so much, he gave us pigs (which in cantonese is one tone off from being the word, Lord). 

We had a really fantastic devotional on Tuesday but Elder Kim B. Clark, who's a member of the seventy. He said there were four things that missionaries (and everyone!) needs to do to be successful. 1. Be willingly obedient. 2. Work HARD 3. Have the spirit with you. 4. LOVE the people. This reminded me of the thing that Bishop Kib said at my setting apart. He said to remember FOWL. Faith, Obedience, Work and Love. My district talked a lot about how we need to see other people as God sees them. We need to love others as God loves them. In 3 Nephi 18:24-25, there's a line that reads "...I am the light that thou should hold up...". People should be able to recognize that we bear Christ's name on our hearts by our actions and by His light shining through our eyes and our faces! Don't be afraid to be obnoxiously enthusiastic about your love of your Heavenly Father and the love of your Savior. We have every right to be enthusiastic about our faith because we get to know a happiness and a love that most people have never felt in their lives! We are so blessed to have this gospel, so bear Christs' name with pride! 

And on the note of pride, I've been studying Humility this week as my Christ-like attribute, LOL! My favorite scripture in the entire Book of Mormon is Alma 26:12. Alma 26 is what we like to call, Ammon's missonary homecoming address. I love verse 12 because it talks about how without God we are nothing. He gave us everything we have. "I will not boast of myself, but I will of my God,for in His strength I can do all things..." Through God, not only do we have everything we have but we can also achieve anything we need! Humility leads to a better understanding of how much you need your Savior and it helps you understand and appreciate the need for the Atonement and repentance that much more! 

I finally got to see that new(ish) Joseph Smith movie that has been out for a couple of years. I've been wanting to see it for years but I haven't really had the opportunity to see it. If you have the opportunity to see it, DO IT! It was such a powerful movie. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and for His undying faith and love for our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for the faith of the early saints. I'm so proud of them for staying true to what is right, in the face of so much hurt and so much persecution. I know that this church is true because even while facing those awful events, the knowledge of the Atonement and the love of our Savior and our Heavenly Father kept those saints strong. Their burdens were made lighter on their shoulders and they were able to enjoy greater happiness because of their hardships. God continues to strengthen His people and bear their burdens, just as much now as He did then. He has promised us MULTIPLE times in the scriptures that all we need to do to is have a little faith, a little humility and ASK Him for help and He will bless us. 

God gives me strength to make it through some crappy days here in the MTC, and He'll give you the strength to endure some crappy days too. My challenge this week is for you to find a copy of the book "Our Search for Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard and read it. It's fantastic.  I hope you all have an INCREDIBLE Thanksgiving this week. I love you all and I can feel your prayers. Thank you so much for all your love and support!

Bye Bye! (That's literally how you say good-bye in Cantonese...)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The One Where There Are Only Four More Weeks Until HONG KONG Bound!!

Hello Everybody! Mindy wrote again :) she sounds like she is doing really well. We love love LOVE hearing from her every week! I hope you all do too! I love reading all her emails because i can just picture her saying all of this.
Here is this week's email. enjoy! :)

"Woah, we're half-way there" Living on lots of prayerrrr... MTC Week 5

I have officially made it past my half-way mark in the MTC. I have seen more missionaries come and go than I care to admit and I still have four more weeks of that. I also feel like I could spend my whole mission here in the MTC and still need to learn so much more about how to be a better missionary. I'm excited to leave but terrified to go (which describes how it felt to come on my mission as well). 

It has most definitely been a week of small miracles for me. The Lord blesses those that put in the work first and change their attitudes, that's for sure (at least for me!). This language is finally getting easy. The gift of tongues is real, but ONLY when you do your part. I was doing it half-way and still resisting Heavenly Father's plan for me and it was showing. That small change in attitude made ALL the difference and I'm already seeing the blessing of making that personal change. My lessons have been better, my companionship is more harmonious and I don't feel like I've been bashing my head against a wall all day when I go to bed at night. Change your attitude and it'll change your life. 

It's been snowing a lot this week, espcially today! I got to wear my new red rainboots today and I'm loving every second of it. Also, it's fun to enjoy it now because I won't be seeing it. (I think I talked about this last week... ?) The weeks are starting to blur together a little bit, everytime I get asked how much longer I have, I turn to Sister Mcneely because I usually don't even remember what day of the week it is. But everyday is filled with spiritual growth and moments of self-evaluation to see just how much I still need to change (which is a lot) to become more Christ-like. 

We had an awesome devotional speaker last night. His name is Greg Droubay and he's in the Media Department for missionary work and other things in the church. Basically he works a lot with and differnet media outlets that the church has. He gave us a sneak pre-view of some things that the church is doing for Christmas this year and let me say, WOW! I'm so excited for the video and the website to be up. it gets released Nov. 29, 2015 and it is #asaviorisborn. The Lord is definitely hastening his work. My heart is so big just thinking about how exciting it is going to be in Hong Kong during Christmas time. I'm SUPER excited. Another thing that Brother Droubay shared was that the two things that unites EVERY SINGLE person in this world is; 1) We all have the light of Chist inside us and 2) We can all be saved ONLY through our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
Faith in Jesus Christ is the secret to all the miracles that occur in missionary work and the miracles that occur in so many hearts and minds of those that believe in Him. I encourage you all to discover more about what you can do individually and as families to better increase your faith in Christ. 

I was studying Charity this week as my Christ-like attribute. I could study this topic for years and still need to continue to study it because of how important it is to have. one of my favorite quotes about charity came from Silvia H. Allreds talk in October 2011, titled "Charity Never Faileth". She says, "...Charity is not a single act or something we give away but a state of being, a state of heart, kind feelings that engender loving actions." The really awesome thing about charity is that it will literally purify who you are as a person if you are praying for it and striving to apply it to your life. Gene R. Cook said "As we increasingly think and act like Him, our natural man will be replaced by the heart and mind of Christ". HOW AWESOME IS THAT!? Love is like faith and kindness where it's contagious. Sharing love causes more love to grow, not only in your own heart but in the heart of the person you loved. Elder Cook has three other suggestions for how we can recieve Charity. He says 1. Recognize His love. There is evidence of the Lords love for you in every aspect of your life, take a second to reflect and notice those "love notes" from God. 2. Recieve His Love in Humility. God is an anonymous giver, but He still deserves to be thanked. Gratitufe is a form of returning our love to God and it also makes our apprieciating for Him grow more. 3. Convey His Love. Love others more to understand more about how perfectly God loves you. 

"I invite you to not only love each other but to love each other BETTER." - Bonnie D. Parkin 

I love you all so much and I hope that you are having a fantastic week. 

 Sister Adams

"they weren't kidding when they said they will give you ten pounds of books!" -Sister Mindy Mint

This is Sister Adams and her MTC companion Sister McNeeley

All the Sisters in Sister Adams' district 

all the missionaries HONG KONG bound! :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The One Where I Can't Think Up A Good Title

Week 4 of Mindy at the MTC. she only has about 4 more weeks until she's off to Hong Kong! Seems like she had a tough week, so everyone send her letters and/or emails and/or packages with lots of love and encouragement. Keep her in your prayers as well!
Here is this week's letter from our cute missionary! :)

Just Keep Swimming! MTC Week 4 (?)

"Just keep swimming!" That has been the motto for the week. This week has been a good one but a tough one. It's a good thing I've been learning so much about trusting the Lord and having patience in His timing because I definitely needed that reminder during this week. I got sick on Friday and it made for a rough weekend. Getting sick in the MTC is the worst. Alma 36:3 is a fantastic verse for anyway having a bad week, it's one of those "insert your name here" verses. 

I've been reading a talk thingy by Elder Lawrence(?) called The Fourth Missionary. It talks about how we can be so much more in this life if we give our will to the Lord's. One of my favorite lines from it says, "You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. HE will create a God." On Tuesday in the choir, we sang, "Be Still, My Soul" (It's ironic how much this song has been the theme song for my mission thus far) We sang it in a way that I have never heard of and the choir director told us a little bit of the meaning behind it. This song is literally a fight that someone is having within themselves between their natural man self and their divine self, the self that God sees in us. The divine self is telling the "chicken self", the natural man, self to sit down and stop getting in the way of the things that God needs you to accomplish! "The Lord is on thy side!" is what we have to constantly remind ourselves. Don't let anything shake your confidence and your hope that you have in the Lord. When it all comes down to it, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never leaves us. He ALWAYS loves us. We are always the ones that move away from Him, that leave Him or forget Him. Tell your "chicken soul" to sit down and shut up more often and you might get more done! 

I honestly don't have very much to share today, other than God really does put us with people that He knows will lift us up, but will also push us to become our very best. My district is really incredible. I'm so blessed to be among spiritual giants like them. One of the Elder's in my district was part of a religious singing group called Beyond 5. His name is Elder Love. I've never heard of them (sorry Elder Love) but apparently they are quite big, He has sisters stopping him and asking him for his picture all the time. The other Elder in my branch is named Elder Peterson. He is so sweet and has such a genuine love for those around him, He also makes the most hilarious reaction faces to things that our teachers/zone says about Asia. The sisters in my district are Sister Curtis, Sister Wilcox, Sister Ng, Sister Leonard, Sister Shiffert and Sister McNeely. Sister Curtis is from California makes me laugh so hard I go into coughing fits. Sister Wilcox and Sister Ng are the peaceful companionship that keeps the rest of us rowdy folk from getting too out of hand. They have really warm and genuine spirits and I describe them with each other because they really are a unite, they work really well together. Sister Leonard is, of course, awesome! We knew each other before the mission so it's been entertaining to spend time with her again. Sister Shiffert cracks me up. She uses food names as exclamations, rather than other words, so I constantly get to hear "Crackers!" or "Fudge" or other words. She has a love of learning this gospel and its been so fun learning from her testimony. Sister McNeely is my other still small voice. She keeps me grounded and tries to keep my "butterfly" brain from flying too far away from what we are supposed to be doing. She plays the violin (and is fantastic at it!) and has a very strong love for our Savior. I learn so much from her. Anyway, that's the district and I truly am blessed to have them,

On Sunday, I studied a lot about Baptism and the Holy Ghost. I came across a talk called "Retaining a Remission of Sin" from October 2000 general conference. It talks about the promises we made to Heavenly Father and the things that He promised us in return when we fulfill our promises (we DEFINITELY get the better side of the deal). Elder Crockett quotes Mosiah 4:11 and talks about the "formula" King Benjamin gives his people on how to retain the remission of their sins. 1. We need to remain humble. God gave us everything we have. Everything we have and everything we are is from Him. 2. We need to "Call upon the Lord daily". Prayer is one of the best gifts God gave us. It's a direct line to Him. USE IT! 3. Stand steadfastly in faith. I think it was Elder Uchtdorf (?) that said something about not JUST enduring this life, we need to go about this life with joy and with peace in our hearts and patience through our trials. When we do these three things, we are fulfilling our side of the covenant we made with God because we are remembering Christ in our lives, We will gain stronger testimonies that will make us want to open our mouths and share what we know. And we will be repenting and constantly striving to distance ourselves from sin. Ask God for help. That's why He gave us the Holy Ghost. That's why He gave us prayer. He promised He wouldn't leave us alone. We just need to follow His plan for us instead of thinking our plan is somehow better than His. 

Anyway, sorry for the heavy stuff. I love you all so much and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The One Where All We Need Is Faith, Trust, And A Little Bit Of Pizza Dust!

Mindy wrote us again! She is such an amazing person and I hope you all love hearing about what she is up to and what she is learning as much as we do :) She seems to be having a great time at the MTC. Super excited to keep hearing from her!
Here is this week's email :)

"Faith, Trust and a little bit of Pizza Dust!" MTC Week 3

Leih Hou! 

This week has gone by SO SO fast, on Thursday I sat there for five minutes trying to figure out how my week had gone from Sunday to Thursday so quickly. I've done so much in so little time and it's definitely been a week of trusting in the Lord. 

I have decided that Nephi will forever be one of my Book of Mormon heroes, because he is so courageous and trusting when following God's will for him. Throughout first Nephi, we constantly see Nephi state things like, "...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them..." and "...I was led by the spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do...". Nephi NEVER knows what new thing the Lord will ask of him but he always does it without hesitation and without murmuring because he knows he can trust Heavenly Father to lead him somewhere awesome! I'm striving to become like Nephi and to trust the Lord more. To let His will and plan become my will and plan. 

My personal study/ every lesson (I had 6 lessons this week, three of those were on saturday morning and one was Relief Society) I taught this week was all on faith. What is faith? How do we obtain it? What can we do through faith? What are some blessing that come with faith? Faith, as it turns out is ALL about trusting the Lord, being obedient to what he asks of you and hoping that He will bless you for your righteous efforts. So, in life, all you need is a little bit of Faith, Trust and pixie dust or as Sister McNeely thought I said, "Pizza dust" (Which is really funny because that's literally the MTC lifestyle in one sentence). 

We got an apostle on Tuesday! That was seriously so cool! The wave of spirit that he brought in the room with him was absolutely incredible. I hadn't remembered what it felt like to be in the same room as an apostle or prophet but that was an incredible magical moment. The power of the Holy Ghost was most definitely a tangible thing while he was there. He spoke of sacrifice, opposition, adversary and deliverance. We have to sacrifice something in our lives to become something better. It's a small thing that he Lord asks of us and the blessing we get for that sacrifice are worth that sacrifice 1000 times over. Adversary will always try to force you back to what you were before you made the sacrifice, or worse. PUSH AGAINST IT. Do not let opposition force you down a slippery slope. The adversary knows us VERY well and he tries to work with our weaknesses, our guilt, and our selfishness. Be a "disturbance and annoyance to the kingdom" of the adversary (JSH). We know enough... God has blessed us with talents, tools and support systems to help us in this life. We trials and opposition come, we need to tighten our belts, smile and utilize the things that the Lord gave us. "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you". He promises that if we pray, and use the tools He gave us that he will ease the burdens from us, not take them away, but ease them until they don't feel much like a burden anymore. 

We hosted new missionaries on Wednesday (which was weird because you don't usually do that until your fourth week here) but it was so fun. I hosted two sets of three new sisters, which is a lot. We were low on sisters this week and then they just kept piling the sisters on me.. It was so fun to talk with them and feel of their nervousness and excitement. It was sad to tell their families that they had to go though, there was a lot of tears and I wasn't really prepared for that. It's so fun to see them smiling and enjoying their first week around campus though. 

I can finally eat whatever I want again (YAY!). I discovered that it was the milk. So, I've just been avoiding milk since then. Oh, and yesterday was fast Sunday and I didn't get hangry at all! hungry? yes. But hangry, not a bit! I ate like three plates of food at dinner and then continued to eat snacks and candy until I went to bed. I just couldn't stop. It was quite a tender mercy. My companion told me she was shocked at how talkative and happy I was yesterday (She's already witnessed my hangry side and had been praying for me. LOL!)

This gospel blesses families. I know that for a fact. I don't know where I would be without my family. And it makes me SO incredibly happy to know that I get to love them for eternity and not just for my life on this earth. This gospel HEALS families. I have witnessed miracles about this, not just from home, but from things I've seen here in the MTC. Never doubt that families are central to God's plan and that He will do all He can to aide you in your families. God loves families. God love HIS family, which is what I am so excited to share with the people of Hong Kong. A lot of these people don't even know that they have a Heavenly Father and He REALLY wants to here from Him. I get to be the person who hands them the phone (prayer) that let's them speak to Him. I could not be more excited about my purpose for the next year and a half. "If we want to talk to God, we pray. If we want God to talk to us, we read the scriptures." Don't forget that God wants to talk to you just as much as He wants to hear from you. He wants to help you in your life. 

And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. (2 Nephi 26:9) 

God teaches us line upon line. Precept on precept. He never gives us more than we can handle or understand. Trust in His plan for your life. And don't forget to have more Faith, trust and pizza dust in your life.  

I love you all so much and I'm so grateful to have you in my life. Each of you has truly contributed into a part of who I am today. My testimony is what it is because of you. Thank you for being so amazing.

This is Sister Adams' District at the Provo MTC. Isn't she so cute?! 

Sister Mindy Mint, Sister Leonard and their friend, Elder Yazzie, from Yokota!
They were all in the same ward together in Japan. Elder Yazzie left to serve the
good people of Turkey!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The One Where We Need to Open Our Mouths

Another amazing email from Sister Mindy Mint this week! :) She is such an amazing missionary already! Here is Week 2! Enjoy :)

This is Sister Adams and her Language training class at the MTC :)

"Open Your Mouth" MTC Week 2

Leih hou Everyone!

Thank you so much for your sweet emails, letters and Dear Elders! I'm so sorry if I don't have time to reply to you all, Mom comes first. ;) My MTC address was actually changed from the one that I put on Facebook so it took be about a week before I started getting letters and things that weren't sent to me, but I did get everything. My real address is:

Sister Mindy Lynn Adams
2009 N 900 E Unit 164 (which is the unit used in Dear Elder)
Provo UT 84602

Hopefully this helps make it so that I receive letters sooner than a week after you all send them to me. I really do enjoy hearing about life outside of the MTC so keep me updated, I don't have a lot of time to respond but I still love to hear from you. 

My brain has been a jumbled mess this week. The more Cantonese I learn, the worse my English gets (and it wasn't that great to begin with). The language is starting to come along better now though. It's not great, or even good but it is better and that's an improvement. I'm definitely better at understand what is being said than I am at speaking it. We added another 3-hour language class to our days so now we are in pure Cantonese mode for about 7 hours during the day, with a small break for dinner which I spend in a daze with Cantonese words running through my head anyway. I go to bed mentally exhausted from translating in my head all day long but I am learning a lot and the language is getting better!

I'm in love with my district and my zone. We all get along so well! The languages that are included in my zone are Cantonese, Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Thai and Vietnamese. We're all from such different places, speaking different languages, and heading ALL over the world but we still have a connection that feels like a family. I don't know what it is like is other zones but I love being in my zone where people are welcoming, sweet and fun to be around, I'm honestly not surprised they were all called to Asian missions just based on how their personalities are. 

Sis McNeely and I finished teaching out first "investigator" last week (He's actually my teacher now sometimes too... it was so weird to hear him speak English). We committed him to be "baptized" on November 21. Having the Holy Ghost as the third companion in our lessons, helping us teach and helping the investigator understand, is CRUCIAL to successful lessons. I'm learning more and more just how much of a gift the Holy Ghost is to me and how grateful I am to Heavenly Father for giving all of us such a powerful too that we can use in our lives. I really hope and pray that all of you understand how important having the Holy Ghost in your life is. He is a member of the GODHEAD that gets to walk with you in your daily life if you allow Him to. If you don't understand this gift, I encourage you to buy a blank Book of Mormon and write down your question about Him in the front. Read the Book of Mormon cover to cover and highlight anytime the Holy Ghost is mentioned, then go back and write a small summary for yourself. I've been doing this with how I can become more personally converted in my life and it is incredible to me how much I've learned in just a week of studying, Go to the Book of Mormon with your questions. It really does relate to your lives, I gain new insights every time I study it. 

We're teaching two new investigators this week. I'm excited to see what having more than one investigator is like and how similar (if at all) the lessons will be. It'll be hard to juggle learning all the vocabulary for all the lessons, on top of stuff learned in class but it'll be good to know all of these new words. Sis. McNeely and I are getting better at teaching and planning with unity to that lessons are going a lot smoother. Unity is so important in a companionship. 

All of my Sunday lessons, personal study and devotionals have been about how I need to align my will with God's, how I need to have more sincere prayer and how I need to be more personally converted in order to help others be more personally converted. Obviously Heavenly Father is trying to tell me something ;). "Not as I will but as thou wilt..." has been something that has stuck out to me the most though these last two weeks. Heavenly Father ALWAYS has something better for us than we could ever imagine. We think we have these big dreams and things that we can accomplish but God's dreams for us are bigger, they're better and the accomplishments we gain from following God's plan for us will be so much sweeter than anything we could imagine. Don't be afraid to give it all to the Lord. EVERYTHING. Have hope, faith and trust that He'll take care of you. 

The Devotional I watched last night was by Jeffery R. Holland. It's called "Open Your Mouth". He talks about how obedience is the first law for everything and how this church is God's church, not ours. We don't get to choose who we talk to, who we share with and what rules we follow. God chooses who He needs us to teach. He's been prepping someones heart for a long time, waiting for us to be in the right place to teach them, or help them. SO OPEN YOUR MOUTH! He talks about how the "sword of spirit" and our words are the only thing that we have offensively in our Armor of God and how we need to use that or Satan has won. Satan wants us to be shy, he wants us to keep our mouth shut, he wants us to hold back the words that we know could save someones life. Don't let him win. Be BOLD. Share with others this gospel that means so much to you. That's the real show of love. If you truly love someone, you tell them the truth, even if it isn't something they want to hear, it's something they need to hear. (Just be tactful and kind about it :P) 

I love you all. I hope you all are doing well and I'm sorry I write such novels every week! 

Sister Mindy Adams

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The One Where She Writes Her First Email

Hey Everyone!
Mindy is officially a Sister Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!! yay!! She is currently in the Provo MTC until December 2015 then she will be off to Hong Kong to serve and teach those wonderful people! We're extremely proud of her and so excited to see how her mission goes! Mindy asked me to keep her blog up to date with things and to post her emails.
She was able to write us yesterday and here is what she wrote:

"...God Loves Chinese People" MTC Week 1

Leih Houh! (I haven't figured out how to type accents and stuff yet.)

The MTC in one word, busy! Sometimes I feel like I barely have time to breathe, let alone think. I keep telling people that I wouldn't have time to be homesick even if I wanted to! My companion is Sister McNeeley, she's seriously a sweetheart and we have quite a bit in common. It's been really fun and frustrating getting to know her and learning how to serve her/with her. I'm definitely learning about my weaknesses and areas in need of improvement already. I feel like Sister McNeeley and I are forever running from one activity to the next, literally running. I'm so tired all the time but so happy too. The spirit is incredibly strong here. I feel like my heart and soul are in a crockpot on low heat all the time, but in a peaceful, pleasant way. 

The first day at the MTC was madness. After I was ushered away from the car, I was led into a maze of "WELCOME! WHERE ARE YOU SERVING?!?" and "Here! Take this, and this, and this and this and this..." They aren't kidding when they tell you you'll get 15 pounds worth of books. I was sweaty and overwhelmed by the time I reached the dorms. When I finally took one step into my classroom, my teacher spoke to me in Cantonese and only Cantonese. I have yet to hear him speak in English (apparently he does sometime this week though).

My cantonese is better now than it was that first day but it's still not very good. My cantonese name is Lahm Ji Muih. Ji Muih means sister and Lahm apparently means forest. I don't know how to make up the names here, because none of them really make sense. I taught my first "investigator" on Friday, entirely in Cantonese. It was literally the worst, most embarrassing experience of my life. my face was red for two hours after that lesson. I'm not kidding either. I wanted the ground to swallow me. I was having some serious doubts at that point but the "old cantos" (the group of cantonese missionaries that left for Hong Kong this morning) came in to our class later that night and just gave us words of love and support. They told us about their own horror stories and about some crappy lessons that they still give today. They've been really loving, supportive and silly since we got here and I'm going to miss having them around. 

All of the missionaries heading to Hong Kong in my zone are Sisters, expect for two Elders in my district. It's funny because it's the complete opposite with the group of Canto missionaries. That group is all Elders, except for two Sisters. It's crazy to me how quickly I can grow to love people here. I already love my district and my companion so much and I haven't even been here a week. i get sad thinking about how we'll be split up when we reach Hong Kong. 

The second lesson I taught was much better than the first (THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL, just not really for me...) The Spirit was more present and the investigators was actually understanding what we were trying to say this time, My companion is good at the language, which is good because I'm struggling a lot. It's been a little hard because I feel like all the other missionaries are catching onto the language really well, and I'm still suffering through it (though my man voice is really coming in handy with the low tones). The language is a lot like singing(because of the tones), which makes me happy because you all (KELSEY) know how much I love to sing, even though I'm not very good at it. There's a phrase in Canto that means willing or not willing (yuhn mh yuhnyi) and because of the tones is sounds exactly like "Come on Eileen" (the song) I laugh every time I have to say it. Also, when we practice symbol sounds and vowel sounds it starts to sound a lot like we're singing the "Apples and Bananas" song. I feel like I just giggle my way through language class but I really am learning a lot and these little things help me to remember the sounds better. 

The food and I don't get along here. I know I was worried about gaining weight here, but I'm actually more worried about not getting enough protein and stuff now. I eat A LOT of salad, soup and wraps. The wraps, the salad and fruit are literally heaven sent. Every time I try to eat something from the main foodline, I suffer through the rest of the day/night with a stomachache. So, I've just been avoiding that now. There's my MTC advice of the week, EAT FRESH OR YOU'LL REGRET IT. Daily exercise has become a must for me now too. We sit so much during the day that I take every opportunity I can to get moving. I actually wake up at 6 AM most morning to go to the extra workout classes. They are a lifesaver. 

Sunday was my favorite day BY FAR. We had an incredible devotional that night by Chad Lewis (BYU Tight End, played for the NFL Eagles). He was so awesome, very humble and very loving. He talked about not hiding your gifts and to play up your strengths when you are teaching and learning. My favorite thing he said is when he quoted Elder Oaks, who said; "I know The Lord loves Chinese people because He made A LOT of them!" How can you not love them though? I'm so excited to serve them, even though I can barely say a prayer in their language! 
Tayson Hill (BYU Quarterback) also stood(hobbled) his way up and bore his testimony. I really enjoyed what he said when he was talking about meeting one the apostles at the BYU game after he'd been injured. The apostle told him, "If the Lord wanted you on the football field, you'd be on the football field. But you're not. So, figure out where He needs you". I need to figure out why I'm here. I need to figure out why He needed me in Hong Kong, or the MTC, at this specific time in my life. I challenge you all to find out why you are where you are also. 

I watched "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar for my first Sunday movie. I really encourage you to watch it or read it if you can find it. It was really incredible. It talks about how Christ turns outward when most of us would turn inward in selfishness. I truly feel like I'm the cookie monster that he talks about and I need to change that. My favorite quote from him in that talk was, " You cannot live on bottled light". We need to constantly be working on being more and more converted. CONVERTED, not just having a testimony but being converted. 

I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts of love this week. I've really been able to feel you lifting me up (the power of prayer for missionaries is very real). I hope that you all have a fantastic week and that you TURN OUTWARD and strive to be more like the Savior. 

Lots of love, 

Sister Adams

P.S. No pics this week because I only get an hour and I talked too much. Oops. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The One Where I Talk About My Call

Hello Everyone!

I'm sorry I have been so absent these last couple of weeks. My life has been a rollercoaster since I got my call and I haven't really had the desire to sit down and write this post until now. I'm proud to announce that I have been called to serve in the China Hong Kong mission. I report to the Provo MTC on October 14, 2015. I will be learning to teach the gospel in the beautiful, challenging language of Cantonese. I will be serving for 18 months (as almost all female missionaries in the LDS church are called to do). And yes, I'm excited!

I have always known that I was going to serve a LDS mission. I've known since I could sing the words, "I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two". I've known since before I was even baptized as a member of this church, that I wanted to serve my Heavenly Father and help in the work of bringing His spirit children back to Him. It's always seemed like such a magical thing! I feel like it's always been something that's in the cards for my life. I'm one of those people who gets REALLY excited every time I see missionaries, hear stories about missions or get emails/blog updates from my friends who are on missions. I love everything that has to do with missions. All of this being said, I was disappointed when I got my mission call.

Now, before anyone starts preaching to me about how Heavenly Father calls us where we are most needed, I want you all to know that I've come to terms with my call. I know with certainty that Hong Kong China is the place where God needs me the most. How do I know this? I have given myself an entire month to pray about this assignment. I've been to the temple, multiple times, asking Heavenly Father to help me overcome my fears and hesitations about my call, I've studied my patriarchal blessing and I've fasted about this call. Every time I ask Heavenly Father if this is the right place for me, I get an overwhelming feeling of comfort, and an almost striking feeling of "YES!" resounds in my heart and my head. This is an answer that I can't ignore.

I'm terrified of teaching in Cantonese. Based on my research, Cantonese is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn, if not, THE hardest to learn. I struggle to speak and teach in English and English is my native language! How in the world am I going to teach this beautiful and perfect gospel, to a people I know very little about, in such a complex language, when I can barely share my testimony in English?!? Not only is the language terrifying, but I'll be in China. I did not even know there was a mission in China until I was called there. China was the furthest place from my mind, and the furthest from the minds of anyone who was guessing where I was going to go!

I lived in Japan for four and a half years so, it is not the fact that I will be in an Asian country that scares me. It is the fact that there is so much work to be done in China still. There are so many people in China! It's humbling and astounding that Heavenly Father has so much trust and faith in me. HE knows I can do this. HE believes that I will be able to teach these people, to reach these people. HE, who knows every single thing about me (including my doubts and fears), knows I am capable of learning the language and facing the emotional, spiritual and physical stress that I'm starting to realize comes with serving a mission. He trusts me, so I will trust Him.

I think it's been a blessing in disguise for me to be as reserved as I've been about my call because this experience truly has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father and has made me more willing to humble myself and put my life in His hands. I'm learning to let myself be led by Him, down the path that He has for me. I'm learning to let go and let Him mold me into what He needs me to be. I've already learned so much about myself and so much about Heavenly Father. I know I still have a long way to go and a lot of learning left to do, but now I can say with complete confidence that I am excited to serve MY mission and that's something I'm very happy about because I wasn't able to do that a month ago.

I've been blessed because about the time I got my call, is around the same time that I started reading the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. This was a blessing because the book of Alma is all about missionary work. When I was younger, I didn't like the book of Alma because it was long and I felt like it was all about wars and death. As I've been reading it now, with a mission in mind, I've learned so much about what it means to be a missionary and what it is like to be scared of your calling but letting God lead you anyway. Miracles happen in that book, miracles happen with missionary work and miracles will happen in my life and my work if I let God guide me. I now have quite a few favorite scriptures in Alma, one that has given me the most guidance about my hesitations with my mission call is: Alma 29:9, it reads; "I know that which the Lord has commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory in myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy". I am an instrument in God's hands. I can't boast of myself but I can boast of Him because I've been a witness to numerous miracles, I've felt His love and I've witnessed His power. I have the opportunity to help the people of Hong Kong gain knowledge of truth. I have to opportunity to change someone's future and possibly the future of their family too.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be an instrument in His hands in Hong Kong. I am grateful that He trusts me to bring joy, peace and everlasting life to the people of Hong Kong. I am humbled by His faith in me, it strengthens my faith in Him just to see how much He trusts someone as undeserving and unfit as me. I love my Heavenly Father, I love this gospel and I'm already learning to love the people of Hong Kong.

 I hope everyone has an incredible Thursday!

Mindy Mint